It’s never easy living with a disability, be it physical or psychological. Not only do disabled individuals have to put forth a tremendous amount of effort to lead normal lives, they are also prime targets for certain types of crime. By learning more about injustices committed against the disabled, you’ll gain the knowledge needed to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
With skyrocketing medical costs, it’s ill-advised for anyone — particularly disabled individuals — to brave the American health care system uninsured. Unfortunately, insurance companies are infamous for their discrimination against applicants with disabilities. Since disabled policy holders are viewed as high risks, many insurance companies charge them outlandish premiums or refuse to cover them altogether. To find tips on how you can fight insurance discrimination, visit the blog of a reputable disability insurance lawyer.
Disabled individuals who have been unable to find an insurance provider who will cover them can breathe a long-overdue sigh of relief. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer discriminate against applicants with preexisting conditions. In most cases, disabled policy holders will still have to pay higher premiums than other applicants, but simply having insurance is a huge triumph for many disability sufferers.
Some employers unfairly discriminate against disabled applicants. Because they think disabled employees will bump up insurance costs, certain businesses won’t even give consideration to applicants with disabilities. Worse yet, some employers mistakenly believe disabled employees are incapable of properly carrying out job duties and will be a drain on their resources.
If you suspect you’ve been refused employment or let go from a job because of your disability, seek legal counsel. In many states, such small-minded discrimination is illegal and entails hefty fines on the part of the perpetrator. You’re the best judge of whether or not your disability should prevent you from joining the workforce — not an unsympathetic employer.
Not only does workplace discrimination occur in the hiring phase, it also affects disabled individuals who have successfully landed jobs. Far too many workplaces aren’t equipped with stair lifts, wheelchair ramps and other handicap-friendly amenities. In certain cases, this is due to employer oversight as opposed to outright discrimination. However, if your employer refuses to make the necessary changes after the issue has been brought to her attention, don’t hesitate to talk to a lawyer who specializes in disability discrimination. Depending on the type of business you work for, the Americans With Disabilities Act may require your employer to cater to your needs — or face legal repercussions.
Unreasonable accommodation can also apply to your place of residence. If your landlord refuses to install or maintain mobility aids or other essential tools for disabled residents, he may be in violation of the law. Without the proper amenities, getting around your apartment building or housing complex can be impossible. To make matters worse, certain nursing homes and residences meant to cater to the disabled may only have faulty, improperly maintained mobility equipment.
Harassment of disabled individuals is all too common in workplaces across the country. Unsympathetic to their physical limitations, certain employers will thoughtlessly berate disabled workers for not being able to keep up with the rest of the team. In some cases, they’ll even make disabled employees feel as if they’re holding the business back. Such harassment can be extremely detrimental to the self-esteem of disabled individuals. As a reliable disability lawyer will tell you, this behavior is highly illegal — in addition to being morally reprehensible.
Because of their physical handicaps, disabled individuals often become easy targets for muggers, sexual predators and other violent criminals. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, the number of handicapped individuals victimized by violent crime was twice as much as people without disabilities in 2010. Being the victim of such a crime is liable to make disabled individuals feel inadequate and apprehensive about venturing out in public. To avoid falling prey to assault perpetrators, never visit hazardous areas by yourself and always keep an emergency whistle on hand. A few simple precautions can go a long way in protecting yourself from disreputable characters.
Though devious in nature, many crimes against disabled individuals can be combated with legal knowhow and a good attorney. Suffering from a physical handicap doesn’t give criminals, crooked landlords, disingenuous insurance companies and discriminatory employers the right to make you suffer. Take back your power by refusing to be a victim.